On Adaptation Cost and Tractability in Robust Adaptive Radiation Therapy Optimization

Research paper by Michelle Böck

Indexed on: 15 May '19Published on: 14 May '19Published in: arXiv - Physics - Medical Physics


A framework for online robust adaptive radiation therapy (ART) is presented. This framework is designed to (i) handle interfractional geometric variations following a probability distribution different from the a priori hypothesis, (ii) address adaptation cost and (iii) address computational tractability. The novelty of this framework is the use of Bayesian inference and scenario-reduction, which is evaluated in a series of treatment on a one-dimensional phantom geometry. The initial robust plan is generated from a robust optimization problem based on either expected-value- or worst-case-optimization approach using the a priori hypothesis of the probability distribution governing the interfractional geometric variations. The actual interfractional variations are evaluated in terms of their likelihood with respect to the a priori hypothesis and violation of user-specified tolerance limits. During an adaptation the a posteriori distribution is computed from the actual variations using Bayesian inference. The adapted plan is optimized to better suit the actual interfractional variations of the individual case, which is used until the next adaptation is. To address adaptation cost, the proposed framework provides an option for increased adaptation frequency. Computational tractability is addressed by scenario-reduction algorithms to reduce the size of the optimization problem. According to the simulations, the proposed framework may improve target coverage compared to the corresponding non-adaptive robust approach. Combining the worst-case-optimization approach with Bayesian inference may perform best in terms of improving CTV coverage and organ-at-risk~(OAR) protection. Bayesian inference may have a greater impact on handling adaptation cost than increased adaptation frequency. The concept of scenario-reduction may be useful to address computational tractability in ART and robust planning.